Philosophy, methods, current influences

It's the rider. Simple, Elegant, Us. Thousands of competent teachers can tell the rider what the horse should be doing differently but few can tell the rider how to tell the horse! My particular talent lies here, with the rider, since it is she who leads the dance. The horse is a beautiful living breathing bio-feedback machine and it is with him that my first loyalty lies - he shows me how the rider feels to him. I return the favor by helping the rider to communicate with clarity.

I strive to keep the work as simple as possible and as detailed as necessary to achieve the rider’s goal of competitive success or personal enrichment. If you can learn to feel your own feet in the ground you can learn to feel his and he will follow you. So after a lifetime spent with horses, the last 25 yrs of dressage study, it has occured to me that dressage is really very simple. Not easy but simple.

Horses and students are individuals and certain matches of temperament and physical attributes make the journey together a bit faster but it is my life work to make the journey rewarding for both. I ride all of my “program students” horses regularly to check my eye with the "feel" of the horse. Custom training programs or school horse lessons available.

My primary current influences: I have been a student of the Alexander Method since 2008 I was first introduced to Alexander's work by Mary Wanless who has been a major influence in my career as a teacher.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

How does the rider create "up"

You asked me awhile ago about what I meant when I said a rider could initiate UP. I should clarify that we don't so much initiate it but simply allow it and take the ride! (to a degree we do "catch" the UP using our psoas muscles to move the base of our spine also called tipping the pelvis) but the trickier part is allowing the up which is available on our planet.....Newton's 2nd law states that for every movement there is an equal and opposite movement. First we allow the movement of down by falling (relaxing) into our pelvic floors and feet and then, through our aligned and supported spine we are able to channel the resulting wave up though us and take the ride. A really good down results in a really good up and Down is a trainable skill :->. Wave energy falls and rises with gravity and is greatly effected by the shape the earth provides for it to move through. So when the rider allows herself to relax aka "fall" into her pelvic bowl and then her feet she then can just ride the resulting up. Like a steep beach or a headland can cause the waves to build energy and change direction, the rider uses her skeletal alignment and her psoas muscles to channel the resulting wave up the front of her spine and out the top aka it moves "through" her exactly like the dressage horse moves from his hind feet "through" his spine and out his poll.

the next wave is always coming and we can choose to take the ride or not......... pure alexander

thank you for your question!

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